Winter in the gardens

Snowdrops at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

Winter is the time the garden slumbers, but as the weather gets warmer, it is slowly beginning to awaken. As the first signs of spring start to peep through, take a wander through the walled gardens and see our gardeners at work. The gardens will be open from Saturday 4 February, 10am to 5pm.

Spring snowdrops

February is the perfect time to see snowdrops as they spring up around the park. There are lots to be found in the Pleasure Grounds, particularly in the lovely ferny dell at the bottom.

There’s a bright display of snowdrops on the auricular theatre in the flower garden – you’ll see lots of different varieties of these harbingers of spring.

Snowdrops adorn the auricular theatre in February at Calke Abbey
Snowdrops adorn the auricular theatre at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

Gardeners at work

Despite the colder weather, work never stops in the gardens! The vegetable beds are being dug over and the other beds are being mulched with manure to add goodness to the soil, as well as acting as a weed suppressant.

Waking the gardens at Calke Abbey
The physic gardens at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

Explore Calke’s garden structures

The glasshouses catch all the warmth of the winter sun and are lovely places to soak up the atmosphere. The Orangery provides a cosy haven to sit and look out onto the old Kitchen Garden, or pop into the Show House to see the ferns begin to unfurl.

The old garden buildings are perfect to poke around, including the gardener’s bothy and the boiler houses. Transport yourself back to the days when the garden presented an industrial scene, with boilers stoked around the clock and smoke pouring from all the chimneys. 

Soak up the winter sun in Calke's Orangery
The orangery and glass houses at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Thank you for your support

Your visits to Calke mean that we can continue to look after its unique spaces. This year, we’ll be excavating a hidden tunnel in the gardens using the money raised from our 2016 raffle. Look out for more details in the spring, when you'll be able to come and watch the excavation take place.